The Elvetham Hotel Wedding Photographer – David & Ben
David and Ben are some of my more discerning friends. Needless to say I was very impressed with their choice of The Elvetham Hotel near Hook. A quintessentially British fairytale wedding venue in Hampshire. It was a real treat to photograph their lavish dream wedding there.
Mention this blog and I’ll waive my travel expenses to The Elvetham on your Wedding Day.
David and Ben
Gay weddings often shake up the traditions. I love photographing two grooms getting ready together with their team! It often leads to tender moments and playful fun as they navigate their nerves together before the big day. Rosie Blush spruced everyone up beautifully with hair and makeup.
Guests gathered in the Drawing Room overlooking the quaint formal gardens until they were called through the ceremony. David and Ben decided on tying their knot in the intimate space of the Oak room. They exchanged their vows surrounded by woodland flowers. David is a keen Botanist and gardener so the floral displays were personal and exquisite.
The Library was the setting for their wedding breakfast. Their scrumptious wedding cake served as the ideal centrepiece to the Grand Staircase, framed by stained glass windows.
Depending on the time of day and strength of the sun, picturesque backdrops fill three aspects of the landscaped formal gardens. This lends grandeur to your formal group shots and conveniently located to the garden terrace for your reception. If wet, it possible to photograph large groups of guests from the top of the Spiral Stairs.
I always aim to arrive early and explore the grounds to see what the light is doing. Because David and Ben weren’t hiding from each other before their wedding, we snuck off to take some relaxed photos before the guests arrived. Whether calming pre-wedding nerves or post-wedding exhilaration, losing yourself with a walk around the grounds at Elvetham is wonderful to centre yourself. So often it’s easy to miss your wedding day unless you stop to take it all in.
Often people love to be photographed in bright sunlight. Contrasty light isn’t actually that great for portraiture and I tend to seek out cool pools of shade where you’ll feel more at ease without the sun in your eyes. The dynamic range of my Sony sensors is incredible for pulling details out of the extreme shadows and bright highlights of your photos but the softer the light, the more flattering the results. After all, you don’t want strong crows shadows cast under your eyes from the midday sun!
David was particularly keen to get some pictures in front of the Larch trees. With the sun now lower in the sky, we used the old gates to frame the avenue before we joined the guests for the meal.
The Elvetham is a 19th-century country house. The immaculate grounds spread over 35 acres of landscaped gardens in a secluded 8000 acres estate. You’ll quickly lose yourself amongst the inspiring surroundings. Graham Cleator has been a gardener at The Elvetham for over 40 years. 80 ornamental Irish Yew trees lead the eye down to secluded water feature and gorgeous sundial. Play croquet on the lawn as rare Egyptian geese roam free. An oak tree planted by Queen Elizabeth the 1 over 400 years ago. During her visit to Elvetham, William Shakespeare wrote poems for the Queen. Legend has it that her visit inspired him to write A Midsummer Nights Dream. The carvings on the Drawing room fireplace illustrate the visit and celebrations in detail.
The Hamlet of Elvetham is a stone’s throw away from Reading, Basingstoke, and Farnborough. The architecture is Grade II listed. The original manor building was formerly the seat of the Barons Calthorpe.
With the run of the place, your wedding can spread across multiple spaces. There’s no time like the present to arrange a meeting with the events experts – your in house wedding planning team! If you’re considering holding your wedding at The Elvetham Hotel, perhaps consider taking Champagne afternoon tea. Stop and savour finger sandwiches, dainty cakes, and homemade pastries while you contemplate the stunning backdrop to your big day.
The Garden Summer House is perfect for open-air ceremonies. For your Christmas wonderland, the Winter Conservatory is licensed for your ceremony during the colder months if you’re looking to immerse yourself in light.
The redundant church of St Mary the Virgin is located on the grounds of Elvetham Hall. Now it is a banqueting and conference venue. St John the Evangelist in Hartley Wintney is the sole Anglican place of worship in the parish.
The Drawing Room Bar has a late licence. With 72 bedrooms including the honeymoon suite, you and your guests will have an easy journey to their rooms at bedtime!